Cambridge trainers shine for Sir Peter

Rosso Corsa (Matt Cameron) unleashing a big finish to win at Taupo.

Rosso Corsa (Matt Cameron) unleashing a big finish to win at Taupo.

John Bell helped end 2016 on a bright note for Sir Peter Vela and another Cambridge horseman will hope to kick off the New Year in style for the prominent local owner-breeder.

Bell saddled up Rosso Corsa, the first of two winners Sir Peter had at last Friday’s Taupo meeting, the last fixture in the northern region for 2016. Sir Peter was also successful later on the programme with the Peter McKay-trained Lucky’s Revenge.

At Ellerslie today Cambridge trainer Shaune Ritchie will produce the first of Sir Peter’s runners, La Casona, in the $50,000 Mainstream Plumbing & Gasfitting 1400.

La Casona, a four-year-old daughter of Tavistock, faces a tough line-up in the special conditions event, but with her handy draw (four) and the promise she has shown she should be a leading prospect.

In her half dozen starts she has recorded a win and three placings and has shown improvement with each outing. She chased the very talented Royal Success home when second at Pukekohe then won at Te Rapa beating Miss Horotiu, who followed up with a win at Matamata and is a rival again today.

La Casona’s latest effort was a second to another smart filly, Galloping Gerte, over 1400 metres at the same Matamata meeting at which Miss Horotiu cleared maiden ranks.

Sir Peter also has a good chance with last-start winner Quintessentially, trained by Steven Ramsay and Julia Ritchie, in the $80,000 Dunstan Feeds Stayers Championship Final and will be represented in the final event by another last-start winner Wildflower, prepared at Matamata by Graham Richardson.

Bell got great pleasure from the debut win of Rosso Corsa in the Central Transport 1800 at Taupo.

“I’ve got to thank my staff,” he said. “He is one of the toughest horses I’ve ever had. With a bit of TLC and time, time we’ve got him sorted.

“Evidently the Freedmans trained his mother (Miss Scarlatti), who was a Group One performer, and she was one of the toughest they had so he is a chip off the old block.”

Miss Scarlatti, a daughter of Stravinsky and the dual Group winner Crimson (Gr.2 Grosvenor Championship Stakes, Gr.3 Waikato Guineas), was a Listed 1800-metre winner at Flemington who went on to be runner-up in the Gr.1 Crown Oaks (to Samantha Miss), the Gr.2 Wakeful Stakes, the Gr.3 Norman Robinson Stakes and third in both the Gr.2 Armanasco Stakes and Listed Manfred Stakes.

Rosso Corsa is Miss Scarlatti’s third foal and the son of Darci Brahma had been given three trials in five weeks, ranging from 935 metres to 1200, and stepped straight up to 1800 metres last Friday. Obviously having done plenty of build-up work, he handled the task well.

Settled midfield on the inner, he was a distant seventh when the field stretched out and was under pressure across the top to make ground. He improved to be closer rounding the home turn but was still only fourth with 150 metres to run.

Over the final stages when balanced and fully into stride, he flashed home to catch the leader Over Torque right on the winning post and score by a nose.

“He’s going to be a nice horse,” said rider Matt Cameron.